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The Research Capacity Building Network is a key part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP). It is based at the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. Our purpose is to support the research capacity building activities of the Programme and, where possible, to extend these to the wider educational research community. In particular, the Network has been established to facilitate the sharing of research skills, knowledge and expertise among social scientists, to assist the professional career development of individual researchers, and thereby supporting the development of expertise in the UK field of education research.

Our activities are focused around three core elements:

  1. A review of the research resources available within the Programme and beyond, and identification of opportunities for adding value and collaboration;
  2. Support for research capacity building activities and training within the Teaching and Learning Research Programme; and
  3. Dissemination and training targeted at the wider research community.

We collect information on existing training, and other research capacity-building resources, which we then catalogue, evaluate and broker. Where necessary we are supplying new resources. Most events organised, brokered or provided by our Network are open to the wider research community. Details of all activities and resources available on our website can be found using the navigation bar to the left.

The RCBN, then, is of a totally new kind. It is an innovative attempt to invigorate an entire research field. Among its aims are to support and encourage: the management of complex projects, a widening of methodological approaches, enhancing the design of large-scale studies, the further combination of different approaches from different contributory disciplines, and the creation of new models for transforming findings into usable forms. These aims are not unique to educational research, much less to teaching and learning research. Education is being used as a testing ground for a new approach to capacity-building and we invite all educational researchers to become involved in this exciting new initiative.

We always welcome any comments and suggestions relating to our role. You can also send your comments to us, both interactively and anonymously.

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This page was last updated 13th June 2003